Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : December 13th 2015 Contents |WOWATHOME|
By Ann Moore-Spencer
THE CHRISTMAS TREE is often the
centrepiece of your holiday décor.
Today we will look at a few tips for a
Colour scheme. Yes, colour scheme.
Please have one. Refrain from using
any and every ornament that you like
without regard to whether the
colours combine well. Your colours
should look good together and with
each other. You can opt for tried and
true colour schemes such as red,
green and gold; green and gold; purple
and silver; blue and silver; white, gold
and/or silver; fuchsia, gold and blue,
etc. Or you may explore something
new or trendy such as copper tones
mixed with blues, purples and/or
teals, or with natural tones, cobalt
blues, jewel tones, peacock-inspired
colour combinations with gold, yel-
low-green, blues and purples. If you
use one colour, feel free to use differ-
ent shades, tints, tones and textures.
For two colours use them in a 60:40
or a 70:30 ratio. Alternately, use three
colours in a 60:30:10 proportion, and
40:30:20:10 for a four-colour combi-
nation. For greater visual interest,
combine warm and cool colours.
Inspiration. Many like themed trees.
Don't go overboard. Your tree can look
contrived, carnival-ish or overdone.
For instance, if you are using the pea-
cock as an inspiration, no need to have
scores of literal peacocks. No need to
drape a large peacock from the top of
the tree, either. Using peacock colours
and a few feathers will be enough to
get the idea across tastefully. You can
get colour inspiration from many
sources: an ornament, gift wrap, fab-
ric, nature, etc. Be inspired by your
heritage. Heirloom decorations have
deep sentimental value that tran-
scends any well-coordinated and
colourful tree. You can also be guided
by your existing décor. Select decora-
tions that complement or coordinate
with your year-round décor.
Lights. What is a Christmas tree
without lights? Actually, the lights are
the first thing you should add to the
tree. Many different types of lights exist. In the
past, multi-coloured strings of incandescent lights
were popular. I treat them like ornaments be-
cause today all-white lights are in more general
use. You can also get strings of one-colour bulbs.
LED lights are the newer version and are a bit
more expensive. But they are brighter and less
likely to break. Get green cords for green trees
and white for white trees. Most people string the
light around and around, beginning at the top or
bottom. I prefer to string the lights up and down.
However you do it, place lights toward the inside
of the tree as well as on the surface. Sometimes
I actually wrap the branches from the trunk to the
tip. That gives the depth to the illumination. Cater
for at least 100 lights for every foot of tree. I love
a well-lit tree, so I use more. Get the flashing op-
tion if you like it.
Ornaments. Ornaments go on last. Glass balls are
most popular, but there are limitless types of or-
naments. Also, distribute them toward the inside
and on the tips of the tree. They will reflect light
and give the decorated tree more depth. Start
with the most common ornament and scatter
them evenly around the tree. You will need about
2 dozen for every 2 feet of tree. Then follow with
the next highest proportion and so on. Inter-mix
special pieces. Try for eight to ten or so for every
foot of tree. Create clusters for added interest
and dimension. For larger pieces, begin at the top
and place strategically in a zig-zag down the tree
for each side that is exposed.
Variety. Two ladies were shopping for tree deco-
rations recently. I overheard their deliberations.
One lady planned to use the traditional red and
gold. The other was explaining that she was con-
fused by all the options and was only going to
use one colour. She had her cart filled with
scores of copper balls -- the identical balls. All
the same size, texture and colour. I just had to
get involved. I recommended some variety.
She looked at me as if I was crazy. I asked
her to trust me. We stuck to her main
colour but we got some balls of varying
sizes. Some of the balls had gold designs
on them and we got varying shades of
bronze. We also included long spirals,
butterflies, twigs, flowers, boxes, bells
and ribbon. When we were through we
had a healthy variety of textures,
shapes and shades of bronzes. Her cart
looked a lot more interesting. Hope
she loves her tree when she finally
gets around to decorating it.
Headers and Footers. Your tree will
look incomplete without a tree top-
per and bottom. Very often we
pay attention to the body and
forget the rest. Your tree should
be grounded. Tree skirts can do
that. Layer on some wrapped
gift boxes in different sizes. Co-
ordinate the wrapping paper
with the colour scheme. Tree skirts should be at least
the circumference of the lower branches of the tree.
For the very top of the tree, you may have a topper
that you use yearly. Stars and angels are popular. But
just about anything from a bow, plumes of feathers
or spikes, etc., with the correct colour story and scale
can be used.
Tip: I sometimes add garlands to the tree. This
fills out empty spots at the centre and surface, in-
creases the surface for ornaments and makes the
tree appear fuller. I love to use folds and bunches
of organza back lit with LED lights for the tree
skirt. Happy decorating!
December 13, 2015 www.guardian.co.tt Sunday Guardian
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